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October, 2018Archive for

Baltimore Ravens – The Brief History

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

A professional American Football Team, the Baltimore Ravens is based in Baltimore, Maryland. They are a member of the National Football League (NFL), the largest American football league in the planet, and are one of four member teams in the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division. The Ravens’ football uniforms are colored black, gold, and purple. They play at the PSINet Stadium in Baltimore.

The Birth of the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens was founded after the 1995 NFL season, when Arthur B. Modell, owner of what was then Cleveland Browns, decided to move his team to Baltimore and renamed it as the Ravens (a new Cleveland Browns franchise was put up in 1999), which came from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” (Poe lived in Baltimore during the 1830s). Modell brought with him a team of veteran football players including running back Earnest Byner and quarterback Vinny Testaverde, and hired Ted Marchibroda, former Baltimore Colts coach, to lead the new Ravens team. Despite the roster of star players and a long record of wins for Marchibroda in the mid-1970s when he was handling the Colts, the Ravens struggled in the 1996 and 1997 NFL season, and ended up finishing at the bottom. After the 1997 season, Testaverde left the team and signed with the New York Jets as a free agent. In the 1998 season, the Ravens had six wins and ten losses, and it was then that the Ravens hired Brian Billick, Minnesota Vikings offensive, as their head coach.

Three Consecutive Losing Seasons

The Ravens didn’t have a successful beginning as it flopped in its first two seasons. The 1996 Season was the first season of the Ravens, where they played at the old Memorial Stadium of Baltimore and finishing a dismal record of 4-12. The 1997 season was more promising, starting off with a record of 3-1. Ravens player Peter Boulware also got the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award having 11.5 sacks. When the season ended, however, the Ravens finished with a score of 6-9-1. Vinny Testaverde who then left for the New York Jets, was replaced by Jim Harbaugh, originally from Indianapolis Colts and then later by Eric Zeier. Priest Holmes, running 1,000 yards for the Ravens, also joined the team, as well as cornerback Rod Woodson. Still, the Ravens lost 6-10. Marchibroda was finally replaced by Brian Billick as head coach in 1999. The 1999 season was a big improvement , managing an 8-8 record.

The 2000 Super Bowl Championship

Under the wing of Brian Billick in the 2000 NFL season, the Ravens rebuilt their team and strengthened their defense. They became more aggressive and picky with free agent signings and draft pick ups. Led by one of the top defenders and leading tacklers in MFL history, linebacker Ray Lewis, the Ravens achieved a record-low 165 defense and allowed only 23 points in the postseason. In the Super Bowl XXXV, they finally won a 34-7 victory against the New York Giants and was announced as the champion for that season.

Destination for Today: Silverthorne, Colorado

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

The Town of Silverthorne is the most populous town in Summit County, Colorado. To get to Silverthorne, you must take the first exit on I-70 westbound after exiting the Eisenhour Tunnel, passing through the Continental Divide. Usually vacation goers who visit Summit County’s amazing ski areas make this town their second home because of the cheap Colorado vacation condos that are present in the area. But what most people don’t know is that Silverthorne is more than just a stop-over… Let this article serve as your guide to the things this quiet town in Colorado has to offer.

Where to go…

  • Rainbow Park – If you brought along kids, then Rainbow Park is the place to take them. The park offers lots of awesome things to climb on that your little ones would absolutely enjoy. It’s also right next to a soccer field so there is lots of space to run around and play.
  • Raven at Three Peaks Golf Club – The Raven at Three Peaks is considered as one of the top golf courses in the US, and probably the best mountain course in the whole of Colorado. The Tom Lehman/Fry golf course design features lush rolling fairways and magnificent greens surrounded by towering stands of pine and aspen, snow capped 13,000 foot peaks, crystal clear creeks and trout filled lakes. If you enjoy golf, then you’ll love it at the Raven.
  • The Lily Pad Lake Trail – The trail starts with a short climb and then levels out for a path with mild ups and downs. Once you’ve reached the water tower, you’ll be transported to a dense, well-shaded forest that displays Summit County’s most beautiful foliage, flora, and fauna. On the way, you’ll cross log bridges, pass by waterfalls and streams until you reach the trail’s end. At the end of the hike, you’ll reach two high alpine lakes – one of which is covered with beautiful lily pads which is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

Where to dine…

  • Fiesta Jalisco – Fiesta Jalisco is probably one of the best Mexican Restaurants in the area. The restaurant offers a good selection of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, margaritas and salsas that gringos will surely enjoy. The food at Jalisco’s is also fair-priced; service – fast, friendly and good.
  • Sunshine Café – If you’re a breakfast fan, then this Café is the best place to have breakfast. Be ready to pick your brain because choosing between unusual combinations and alternatives can be a bit difficult.
  • JJ Chinese Seafood Restaurant – JJ’s may look a bit mediocre at first glance, but once you taste the food, you’d say that this is the best Chinese place in Summit County. Aside from the great service and cheap food, the restaurant features an exceptional array of dishes. Fill yourself with perfectly cooked vegetables with deep complex flavors, Home Style Tofu with rich savory sauce and more.

Where to shop…

  • Outlets at Silverthorne – Right in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Outlets offers a great shopping experience with its dramatic view of the surroundings. It makes you feel as though you’re one with nature while, of course, shopping! Anglers often leave their wives and kids shopping while they aim for a catch at the freshwater stream running across the property. A shuttle service also provides shoppers easy access to the three different outlet villages throughout Silverthorne. Shop for J. Crew Factory, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Calvin Klein, Coach Factory Store and more. If you do get hungry, there are lots of restaurants along the outlet villages to dine in.

There Are Many Different Kinds Of Friends

Monday, October 15th, 2018

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

I don’t remember if I read this on a greeting card, a meme or what but it has really stuck with me and helped me understand so much. For most of my younger life I wandered around wondering why friends I thought would be friends for life were no longer there for me. I had this idea in my head that if someone was truly a friend they would be there for life.

The fact is there are many different levels of friendships and relationships and if people were more accepting of this fact they would ultimately be much happier. If people would be more honest with one another and more clearly define what their relationship was it would save a lot of misunderstanding and heartache. If people would learn to move on from a relationship that was over they would be better off; learn what there was to learn from it but move on.

All the people that come into your life just are not going to be friends for your whole life and that is OK. Those kind of friendships are rare. If you have one person in your life that is friends with you for life you are truly blessed. Those types of friendships are usually between a married couple who stay together for life.

Know the value of just being a friend. Why is it that every opposite sex relationship thinks they have to be boyfriend/girlfriend? Why can’t we just have guys that are good friends and girls that are good friends? Even a marriage relationship needs to have a strong foundation of friendship. What is a friend anyway? Well, it is a person you know and with whom you have a bond of mutual affection. Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations. Although your spouse should be your best friend, still your friendship should have nothing to do with sexual relations. And as far as family, yes, you may have a friend who is also related to you but even then your friendship should not have anything to do with being related to them. These two explanations are what I mean by ‘Friendship is exclusive of sexual or family relations’. Don’t undervalue friendship, both having friends and being a good friend.

Let’s look at the different kinds of friendships:

• THE SOCIAL FRIEND: This is the kind of friend that most people have most of. This kind of friend is not someone who you hang out with all the time or live with but you know them and associate with them at a bar, church, store or some other public place. Friends you have that have moved far way fall under this category. They are nice to talk to when you see them and are usually good for a laugh. They are not good for sharing a problem with. Sometimes you leave wishing you hung around together more but that just isn’t this kind of friend. Just accept your relationship for what it is.

• THE COUNSELOR: This is a friend you go to when you need advice or just someone to listen. You value their wisdom or at least the fact that they are good listeners and empathize with you. You can tell this kind of friend almost anything without fear of gossip or condemnation. They are the kind of friend you can trust but you just don’t hang out together, unless you want to talk about something important.

• FUN BOY/GIRL: This kind of friend can usually be counted on to go somewhere with you at a moment’s notice. They like hanging out with you whether it is going to the store or a bar or whatever. They are good tension relievers because you know you are just going to have a good time, let your hair down, maybe even be a little crazy. This kind of friend is not the kind of friend you go to for advice; in fact you should not put a damper on your relationship by getting serious with them about something. They are trustworthy and you know they aren’t going to gossip about what you do together. Don’t expect anything else from this kind of friend; just have a good time.

• SPIRITUAL BROTHER/SISTER: This kind of friend is most often found in churches but not always. This kind of friend is someone that is fun to be around but not like Fun Boy/Girl. It is a more laid back relationship that you can sit around with them at home and talk about God, family or spiritual matters. This kind of friend will pray for you and even help you out on a project or a loan or something. You can’t really cut loose like you can with Fun Boy/Girl but it is good to have this kind of friend when you just don’t want to be too wild but want to have a good time. This is the kind of friend that you just leave with a ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’. This friend leaves you with a fulfilled feeling. They make you feel good about yourself. They are sometimes good for sharing things with like The Counselor but usually they just are a pleasure to know.

• WORK FRIEND: This is the friends that you have at work. You interact at work only. This may include going to break together, maybe even shopping with them or running an errand during lunch or after work. They are usually not good to get advice from but on some occasions things might be discussed and you give each other advice. Mostly though you talk about the job, family and other friends.

• LIFETIME FRIEND: This friendship is very rare and as I said usually is found in marriage relationships they stay together for life. This friend is all the above all rolled up in one.

The Bible has this to say about friendship: “A good friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity.”(Proverbs 17:17). These are the type of human relations we should desire on all levels whether friend or spouse. Look at what the Word has to say about the value of friendship: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6) “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17). 1 Samuel 18:1 describes the friendship of Jonathan and David being so strong that their ‘souls were knit together’.

By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley